USC capital improvement projects could top $16 million
After countless hours and more than a dozen meetings, including a well-attended community forum this past November, the Upper St. Clair School Board’s capital improvement projects ad hoc committee presented its recommendations to the full board during its March 13 meeting.
Following a project review and update by architect David McLean, Superintendent Patrick O’Toole presented the ad hoc committee’s report and recommendations.
In order of priority ranking, the ad hoc committee recommended construction of a new eight-lane pool at the high school, at a cost of approximately $6 million, and consideration of a separate diving well/special use pool to be bid as an add-alternate or delete to the project, at a cost of approximately $2 million.
Also recommended is the construction of a multi-use complex at the high school stadium, which would include home and visitor side bleacher repair and renovation, ADA compliant restroom facilities, ticket booth, concession stand, and announcing facilities, multi-use space which would be available for school district and community use, and district administrative space within the complex. The costs for the community complex and stadium repairs is estimated at approximately $3.3 million and the district administrative offices are estimated at $3.5 million.
Completion of the Boyce athletic field facilities was recommended for a single structure to include rest rooms and changing area, a concession area, and an announcers’ booth, at a cost of about $500,000.
The committee also recommended the removal of the pedestrian bridge at the high school at a cost of approximately $200,000 and repaving of the high school parking lot for approximately $300,000. The total cost of all projects is estimated at approximately $16 million.
The school board is expected to vote on the ad hoc committee’s final report and whether to authorize McLean Architects to continue the design development, construction documents, and construction phase administration for the proposed capital projects and additional capital projects at their March 28 meeting.
If approved, construction could begin in the spring of 2018 with anticipated completion in August 2019.
“Since 2000, all six of our district schools have been completely renovated,” O’Toole said. “The proposed projects bring all of our district-owned facilities completely up-to-date while eliminating the need to continue to rent office space.”
Board President Angela Petersen commented that the five-lane pool at the high school, which is original to the building, won’t last much longer. Speaking of the renovations at the stadium, Petersen said it is “an embarrassment” that the facility is not ADA accessible. She said the current administrative offices are very cramped, especially as the district’s IT and special needs support have grown significantly.
Under the committee’s recommendation, the potential effect on property taxpayers is spread out over two years with a 0.15-mill tax increase in 2018-19 and a 0.16-mill tax increase in 2019-20, which would equate to a $31 tax increase for $100,000 assessed value. The district is investigating additional anticipated revenue from new commercial and residential developments, which could mitigate some of the proposed tax increase.
The district is also seeking private contributions through a legacy campaign. Director of Advancement Sheila Gorgonio has worked with several Upper St. Clair families who have privately funded various initiatives.
The capital projects review ad hoc committee final report, McLean Architects presentation, and proposed capital projects frequently asked questions are available for review on the district’s website at www.uscsd.k12.pa.us.
Also, set for a vote at the board’s March 28 meeting is the district’s 2017-18 school calendar. The proposed calendar, which is available for review on the district’s website, lists Aug. 29 as the first day of school for students.